Effective Date: January 31, 2016 Download PDF
ARTICLE I. PREAMBLE
1.1 The Bylaws of the Faculty Senate, as described in Article I of the Charter of Faculty Governance, define the membership, operations, and procedures of the Faculty Senate beyond those defined in the Charter of Faculty Governance. While it is understood that the operation of the Faculty Senate is primarily the responsibility of the faculty, shared governance of the University mandates that close communication between the faculty and the administration be encouraged. Therefore, amending the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate is subject to review by and discussion with the President, representing the Administration, before voting by the Faculty Senate. It is the intent of the Faculty Senate that these Bylaws are to be consistent with the Charter of Faculty Governance and the University’s Bylaws; therefore, no provision of these Bylaws of the Faculty Senate shall be effective if it conflicts with, or supersedes, the Charter of Faculty Governance, or the University’s Bylaws.
ARTICLE II. COMPOSITION OF THE FACULTY SENATE
2.1 The Senate shall be composed of (1) voting members of the University Faculty (see Charter of Faculty Governance, Section 2.2) who shall be elected by the constituent Academic Unit’s faculties and the Department of Athletics, in accordance with their established voting procedures but with the assurance of written ballots; (2) the academic deans (including directors of freestanding schools) who shall be ex-officio with voice but not vote; (3) three undergraduate student representatives and three graduate student representatives with voice but not vote, to be elected by their constituent bodies, and (4) the Provost, Senior Vice Presidents, and General Counsel of the University, ex-officio, with voice but not vote. All other members of the University Faculty, as defined in Article II of the Charter, may participate in meetings of the Senate, with voice but not vote.
2.2 The Chair of the Nominations Committee of the Senate shall validate the number of voting faculty members in each Academic Unit at the beginning of each calendar year from a list provided by the Provost, and shall allocate the appropriate number of Senators to each Academic Unit according to the following procedure:
i. Academic Units having fewer than eleven (< 11) voting members will be combined for purposes of Senate representation and will collectively elect one Senator;
ii. Academic Units having between eleven and thirty (11 to 30) voting members will have one Senator;
iii. Academic Units having between thirty-one and sixty (31 to 60) voting members will have two Senators;
iv. Academic Units having between sixty-one and ninety (61 to 90) voting members will have three Senators;
v. Academic Units having between ninety-one and one hundred and twenty (91 to 120) voting members will have four Senators;
iv. Academic Units having between one hundred and twenty-one and one hundred and fifty (121 to 150) voting members will have five Senators; and
vii. Academic Units having more than one hundred and fifty (> 150) voting members will have six Senators.
Any voting member of the University Faculty is eligible to serve as a Senator, subject to the approval of the faculty of his/her Academic Unit in accordance with the established voting procedures of the Academic Unit. The number of Senators allocated to each Academic Unit, as determined annually by the Nominations Committee, shall be subject to the approval of the Steering Committee.
2.3 Each Academic Unit shall also elect an alternate or alternates who shall serve in place of the Senator in his/her/their absence and shall enjoy all privileges of the Senators during the period of service. Each Academic Unit shall elect a number of alternates at least equal to its number of Senators. Alternate Senators should be prepared to attend meetings whenever a Senator must be absent. The Senator should provide sufficient notice regarding his/her absence to ensure the presence of a duly elected alternate and should arrange such representation from the list of alternates of his/her academic unit. Any Senator missing a total of three meetings over two consecutive academic terms, without being represented by an elected alternate, should be replaced for the remainder of his/her term by one of the elected alternates of his/her Academic Unit. The alternate Senator should, in turn, be replaced by a special election in his/her Academic Unit. The Nomination Committee will inform the Academic Unit of the need for the special election to replace the alternate Senator.
2.4 The Department of Athletics shall elect one representative, according to rules established by that Department.
2.5 Senators shall be elected for three-year terms, with approximately one-third of the Senate being elected each year. Each year, each Academic Unit will elect a number of alternate Senators equal to the number of Senators elected in that year. Alternate Senators serve one-year terms.
2.6 The Nominations Committee shall notify each Academic Unit and the current Senators of that Academic Unit by March 1st of the Senate positions to be filled by each unit for the coming year. Nominations shall be received and presented to the faculty of each constituent college or school following the election procedures established by the individual Academic Units. Elections shall be held on or before the first Tuesday in May for the Senate positions open in that unit in such a way that all voting members of the University Faculty within the Academic Unit are represented, and eligible to cast one ballot each. The newly elected members of the Senate shall assume office on the first day of October of the next academic year.
2.7 The four Academic Units with the greatest number of adjunct faculty members may each nominate an adjunct faculty member to serve as a representative to the Faculty Senate with voice but not vote. Election of an Academic Unit’s nominee for adjunct representative will be coordinated by a body consisting of its Senators, alternate Senators, and a Nominations Committee representative. Upon approval by the Faculty Senate, the four nominees will serve as members of the Senate, with voice but not vote.
2.8 The current Senators and alternate Senators of each Academic Unit will constitute the Senate Caucus of that Academic Unit. The senior Senator(s) of each Senate Caucus will convene that caucus. The duties of the Senate Caucuses shall include:
(1) Serving as a conduit for two-way communication between the Academic Unit and the Senate,
(2) Working with the Nominations Committee of the Senate to select candidates for open Senate seats, open alternate Senate seats, and representatives on Senate committees and any other committees formed by the Senate.
(3) Organizing the election of Senators, Alternate Senators, and committee members for the academic unit, in cooperation with the administration of the Academic Unit.
(4) Counting the ballots of the election, determining the winners, and announcing the results of the election to the faculty of the Academic Unit and to the Senate.
2.9 If a Senator is unable to complete his/her three-year term of office, a replacement will be elected in the next May election to complete the unfinished portion of the term. An alternate Senator from that Academic Unit will fill the vacant Senate seat until the election occurs.
ARTICLE III. OFFICERS OF THE FACULTY SENATE AND THEIR DUTIES
3.1 Nominations for the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Recording Secretary shall be submitted in writing to the chair of the Nominations Committee one week before the elections. The Senate shall be informed in writing of the list of nominees at least 48 hours before these elections. If no candidate is available for an Officer position, nomination of candidates from the floor is allowed.
3.2 To be eligible for election as an Officer of the Senate, a Senator must be a tenured faculty member or hold the rank of Associate Professor or higher. The newly elected Officers shall serve as Officers designate until the first day of September of the following academic year, at which time they shall assume the duties of their office. During the period from the election of the Officers-Designate until the time of assuming office, they shall serve as members of the current Steering Committee with voice but not vote.
ARTICLE IV. PROCEDURES AND ACTIONS OF THE FACULTY SENATE
4.1 The Senate shall meet at least once in each quarter of the calendar year. The Chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee, may call such other meetings as he/she deems necessary. A quorum of the Senate shall consist of a majority of its voting members, excluding ex-officio members. An action of the Senate is ratified only if passed by a majority of its members in attendance. Attendance and voting at Senate meetings by video-conferencing is acceptable. Proxy votes and votes in absentia are not acceptable. A majority of the three Senate Officers may rule that a particular Senate vote (on a motion or amendments) shall be by secret ballot. Except as described in this Charter, all meetings of the Senate and its committees (standing, ad-hoc, subcommittees) shall be conducted according to the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
4.2 On motions (and their corresponding amendments) on the floor of the Senate addressing the following issues only tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible to vote:
i. Policies and procedures on tenure and promotion of tenured and tenure-track faculty members ii. Sabbatical and leave policies for tenured and tenure-track faculty members; and iii. Other issues, as they become relevant and as approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senators in attendance.
4.3 In voting on issues for which only tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible to vote, the issue will be resolved by the majority of those tenured and tenure-track faculty in attendance, as long as a majority of the serving tenured and tenure-track Senators is present at the meeting.
ARTICLE V. COMMITTEES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
5.1 The Vice Chair of the Senate shall annually organize elections of incoming committee chairs for the standing committees of the Senate. The composition of the standing committees for the subsequent year shall be established by the 30th of April. Should the elected Chair of the committee not be a Senator, that person shall serve as an At-Large Senator with voice and vote in both the Senate and the Steering Committee for the period during which that person is the Chair of the Standing Committee. At-Large Senators shall serve on the Senate as representatives of the entire University community and not as representatives of their individual Academic Units. To be eligible for election as a Committee Chair, the Committee Member must be a tenured faculty member or hold the rank of Associate Professor or higher. These elections shall be held on or before June 30th. The newly-elected Committee Chair shall assume the duties of his/her office on the first day of October of the following academic year. During the period from his/her election to the time of assuming office, that individual shall serve as a member of that Committee with voice but not vote. The outgoing/current chair shall communicate the results of the election to the Senate Chair. The newly elected members of the Standing Committees shall assume their duties on the first day of October of the academic year following their election.
5.2 Each Committee shall receive its annual charge, as appropriate, from the Steering Committee, and may consider matters within its competence referred to it by the Senate and by faculty members, faculty bodies, administrators, or students. Each Committee shall meet at least once each academic term. Minutes of all Committee meetings shall be filed with the Office of the Senate. Each Committee shall report to the Senate or the Steering Committee as required, and shall submit an annual written summary of its activities and recommendations to the Senate. Such annual summaries shall be submitted by the end of May and shall be retained in the permanent files of the Senate by the Recording Secretary of the Senate. In addition, all Committee Chairs, or their designees, shall prepare summaries of their attendance at meetings of the standing committees of the Board of Trustees and submit those summaries to the Office of the Senate.
5.3 Elections of members of Committees of the Senate shall be normally for a period of two academic years. No Committee Member may serve more than six consecutive years or three consecutive terms on the same Committee. As circumstances may require, the full Senate may add to or alter the composition of any Committee to assist it in the accomplishment of its charge.
ARTICLE VI. STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE FACULTY SENATE
6.1 The members of each Standing Committee of the Senate may elect up to six at large committee members from among the University faculty as needed for the specific expertise that such at large members may provide to the standing committee in fulfillment of the charge of the committee. At large committee members will serve terms whose lengths are dictated by the standing committee and are stipulated at the time of their election. The terms of at large committee members may not exceed one year. The Chair of the standing committee shall notify the Senate when at large committee members are elected, including specifications of the need for the at large committee members. The election of at large members of standing committees must be confirmed by majority votes by the Steering Committee of the Senate.
6.2 The Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee shall consist of one faculty representative from each Academic Unit, elected by the voting members of that Academic Unit.
6.3 The Academic Affairs Committee. The Academic Affairs Committee shall consist of two faculty representatives from each Academic Unit, elected by the voting members of that Academic Unit. The appropriate representatives from the Office of Enrollment Management, the Office of the University Registrar, the Office of Academic Information and Systems, and the Provost and the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs shall serve as ex-officio members of this Committee with voice but not vote.
6.4 The Academic Support Committee. The Academic Support Committee shall consist of one faculty representative from each Academic Unit, elected by the voting members of that Academic Unit. Representatives from University Facilities, Information Resources and Technology, the College of Medicine’s Information Technology Department, the Provost and the Dean of Libraries shall serve as ex-officio members of this Committee, with voice but not vote.
6.5 The Faculty Affairs Committee. The Faculty Affairs Committee shall consist of one faculty representative from each Academic Unit, elected by the voting members of that Academic Unit. Representatives from the Office of the Provost and the Vice President for Human Resources shall serve as ex-officio members of this Committee, with voice but not vote.
6.6 The Student Life Committee. The Student Life Committee shall consist of one faculty representative from each Academic Unit, elected by the voting members of that Academic Unit, a representative from the Department of Athletics, six student representatives, and the Dean of Students, who shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Committee, with voice but not vote.
6.7 The Senate Committee on Budget, Planning, and Development. The Senate Committee on Budget, Planning, and Development shall consist of one faculty representative from each Academic Unit, elected by the voting members of that Academic Unit, and a representative of the Department of Athletics. The members of the Senate Committee on Budget, Planning, and Development must be tenured faculty members or hold the rank of Associate Professor or higher. The Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement, the Senior Vice President for Student Life and Administration, and the Chief Financial Officer of the University, or those holding equivalent positions, shall serve ex-officio on the Senate Committee on Budget, Planning, and Development, with voice but not vote.
6.8 The Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Committee. The Committee on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity shall consist of one faculty representative from each academic unit, elected by the voting members of that Academic Unit. The Provost, Vice Provost for Research and Associate Vice Provosts for Research Compliance and Administration, Technology Commercialization and Regulatory Compliance and or their equivalents if otherwise named, shall serve as ex-officio members of this Committee, with voice but not vote.
ARTICLE VII. UNIVERSITY ADVISORY COMMITTEES
7.1. Faculty members to serve on a UAC shall be elected by the voting members of the Senate.
7.2. Faculty members selected by the Senate shall be nominated through a process administered by the Steering Committee of the Senate, with the advice of the Senate standing committee(s) whose charge(s) are most closely aligned with the responsibilities of the UAC. These individuals will be confirmed by vote of the voting members of the Senate.
7.3. Each UAC shall be linked to a standing committee of the Senate or to the Steering Committee of the Senate, as agreed upon during the formation of the UAC. The faculty members on the UAC shall regularly report on its activities for distribution to the entire University community through the Senate.
7.4. Non-faculty members (administrators, staff, students, and other resource personnel) may be appointed to a UAC by the senior administrator to whom the UAC reports. In the case of the appointment of student members to the UAC, the senior administrator shall consult with the Dean of Students. The senior administrator may also appoint ex-officio members, other than faculty members, to the UAC.
ARTICLE VIII. PROVISIONS FOR AMENDING THE BYLAWS OF THE FACULTY SENATE
8.1 Following submission of proposed amendments to the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate by the Chair of the Faculty Senate to the President (representing the Administration) for review and discussion, proposed amendments to the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate shall require approval by a two-thirds majority at a meeting of the Senate.
ARTICLE IX. RESERVATION OF RIGHTS
9.1 No provisions herein shall, nor shall be deemed to, derogate from or supersede any rights, powers or duties of the Board of Trustees or the rights, powers or duties designated to the President under the Charter or Bylaws of the University, it being understood that such rights, powers and duties are expressly and fully reserved hereby.